“The Government will now be able to prevent the sale of EDF’s controlling stake prior to the completion of construction”.
“The benefits of restarting the new nuclear supply chain and experience from Hinkley Point C is expected to lead to lower costs for following United Kingdom nuclear projects”.
Six weeks ago, following the formation of Theresa May’s new government, a surprise review of the project was announced, upsetting both EDF and Beijing.
In a statement, Ms May’s government said it had made a decision to proceed with the project in central England after a comprehensive review, but was clear Britain would have greater control over future deals when foreign states were involved in buying stakes in “critical infrastructure”.
The announcement comes after the government halted the deal to run a review.
The Hinkley project is expected to create more than 25,000 jobs.
An EDF official said the changes requested by the United Kingdom government were minor and that there was no need for new negotiations.
“Consequently, we have chose to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation”.
There will also be increased scrutiny of the national security implications of foreign ownership of critical infrastructure.
The deal also affirmed the governments commitment to replace its old nuclear power stations – almost all of Britain’s eight functioning nuclear plants will have to shut down by 2030.
“The new legal framework for future foreign investment in British critical infrastructure will mean that after Hinkley, the British Government will take a special share in all future nuclear new-build projects”.
The new plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset is being financed by the French and the Chinese.
“CGN and EDF have worked together in close cooperation for decades and this has laid a solid foundation for these three new nuclear projects”. It will be the country’s first new nuclear plant in more than 20 years.
Energy Secretary Greg Clark, told the BBC: “I think it was right for a new government to look seriously at all the components of the deal”.
May has now given the project the go-ahead, but with some significant caveats.
“Had the programme gone under, all sides were to lose dearly, while China-Britain relations could have been tossed into uncertainty”, it said, while warning that future problems are inevitable as Hinkley Point is built. Bradwell would be a Chinese-led project, using Chinese technology.
“That has been done and the new and robust safeguards put in place for the Hinkley deal and other nuclear deals and national infrastructure projects going forward are materially different from those that existed already and represent a real beefing up of those measures”.
Environmental lobby groups, some opposition political parties, and even a former board member at EDF said that was a mistake.